23 Aug 2010

Manslaughter verdict for woman who left baby in bath

7:35 pm on 23 August 2010

A woman who left her baby alone in a deep bath to drown has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

The 29-year-old, who has name suppression, was charged with the murder of her 13-month-old son in Auckland in November 2009.

The woman's two children had been returned to her from Child, Youth and Family's care only two days before the death.

The Auckland High Court jury of 11 women and one man deliberated for four-and-half hours on Monday before reaching the unanimous verdict.

They had been given the rare charge of infanticide to consider as an alternative to murder or manslaughter.

The defence said the woman, who was severely depressed, forgot about the boy when she went to make her daughter breakfast.

But the Crown said she intended to let the baby die to make life easier for herself.

The woman will be sentenced on 28 September.